Thursday, October 23rd, 2003

Nasca, Peru

Mummies of Nasca

Headed out of Lima and went to Nasca, Peru. Nazcais. a Quechua word for suffering and pain. At one point in Peru’s history, prisoners were sent here to die of dehydration. It’s a good name for this place.


The people here are very friendly! Met a lady as we stepped off the bus, very tired and hungry, who took us to her really nice but super dirt cheap hotel and helped us set up a tour for the next day. Then she took us to a nice restaurant where we could have dinner at 11pm… nothing was open…. It’s so hot here…32 degree temperatures and it’s only the beginning of spring here! Or is it still winter? I don’t know.  Also had a few nice conversations with the locals. One guy showed us pictures and talked to us about the famous Nasca Lines as we tried to cool down by eating his ice-cream. We ended up buying ice-cream and a few popsicles by the time we were done the conversation with him. Hehe Another guy sat with us in the plaza for like an hour talking and explaining other stuff about the area to us. Really friendly! The difference between these people is that they didn’t want anything in return or want us to buy anything, they just wanted to chat with the tourists. Had a little shoe shining boy come up to us and sit down, he must’ve been 10, and just start talking to us… not once did he ask if we wanted our shoes shined. We ended up giving him a Canadian dollar cause we liked him so much.


Since we were in Nasca, we figured we should go see the Nasca lines. The tour itself was pretty good. Didn’t end up flying over the lines cause we have heard nauseating stories about it. Just climbed the viewpoint tower and looked at a couple of figures from there. Three lines were used to figure out when to plant and when to harvest their fields... the lines indicated the winter and summer solstices, as well as the two zeniths. The other patterns like the animals and aliens and such seem to mark where underground natural water aqueducts passed.


We also visited a 2700 year old cemetery, where skulls and human bones littered the sands everywhere on the desert floor. About a dozen whole well preserved mummies were to be found in graves as well. There’s something a little disturbing about a cemetery being a tourist attraction though, don’t you think? Apparently before the place was watched over with guards and such, people (actually we were told Israelis specifically) would put sunglasses on the mummies and take pictures with them.



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